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Friar fans fired up about Tatis' return after 80-game suspension

tatis mural.jpg
Posted at 7:44 PM, Apr 20, 2023

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Thursday night, Fernando Tatis Jr. made his long-awaited return to the Padres lineup.

It's his first game in a year and a half with the team as they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To celebrate his comeback, Ground Floor Murals created a new Tatis mural with the words "The Wait Is Over!" behind Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company on Third Avenue in Chula Vista.

"The wait is over. The hate is over so let's just do this!" said one fan.

Friar fans fired up to see Tatis back in action, dubbing Thursday as "Tatismas" on social media.

"We're both really excited for Tatis to be back. [We've] both been longing for Tatis to come back. I think the whole city has," Signe Ditona said.

Muralists Ditona and her partner Paul Jimenez said the art piece took five to six hours to complete.

They're both huge Tatis fans.

"I think he changed the game in general. I think we're witnessing like a Michael Jordan," Jimenez said.

Tatis' return to the MLB field marks the end of an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

He's also had surgeries on his wrist and shoulder.

Ahead of the game, fans stopped by the mural to take pictures.

"I love Tatis. I'm glad he's back. We missed him, and he's a great player," one woman said.

Many hope his comeback will boost morale after a slow start to the Padres season.

"They're not off to the scorching start that everybody wanted. I think they're 9 and 11 and he's an exciting player to watch... always gives it 100 percent," said Tony Raso, the owner of Bar Sin Nombre.